Friday, February 18, 2011

How do I get my child over her fear of the school bus?

Ms. Dorothy,
My daughter is terrified of riding the school bus home at the end of the day. She says she is afraid she will fall asleep and miss her stop. She also says the big kids on the bus scare her because they are really rowdy and out of control. I know she is only in Kindergarten, but I can't see this getting better any time soon, and I can't see driving to get her forever!  Help?
- Mom's Taxi

If your daughter is truly frightened of riding the bus, maybe picking her up is your best option for a while. The stress of worrying about it will impact her learning, and until you can address all of her concerns, the best thing is probably to help her relax about the trip home.

Finding an older student who lives in your area that can be in charge of her might be helpful when you think she is ready to give the bus a try.

Offer to hire this student as a babysitter to escort your child home. Have the older student meet your daughter after class and walk with her to the bus, ride with her, and walk her home from the bus stop. This could go a long way toward relieving your child of her fear of the big kids.

Talk to the bus driver and explain your daughter's concerns. Sometimes a seat up front behind the driver is reassuring to younger students. The bus driver may simply not be aware of the situation.

Ask the principal to meet with 5th and 6th graders who ride the buses and remind them of how overwhelming it can be to a young child who has never been allowed to ride without a car seat before, to suddenly be unbuckled in a bus with children she doesn't know.

Perhaps a little awareness training will help all the students in the school.

Meanwhile, keep driving, and keep talking about how much you like those older students and how much fun it might be when she is bigger and ready to ride with them. 

Changing her mind about the things she needs to be afraid of may be all it takes.

1 comment:

  1. I just published a children's book that helps with overcoming your fear of the school bus (or new situations in general...) It's called Funky Yellow Bus and is available on I hope your readers find it helpful!